Premier League

Cats in Cahill talks - Report

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Sat, 29 Dec 2012 22:25:00

QPR defender Clint Hill has told his team-mates they should leave the club next month if their commitment is in question.

Two successive defeats have left Rangers at the foot of the table, six points adrift of safety, ahead of Sunday's game against Liverpool.

Hill, who has started all six matches under Harry Redknapp, questioned whether some of the foreign players recruited by former manager Mark Hughes during the summer have the desire to keep the club in the top flight.

Full-back Jose Bosingwa has emerged as the main villain following his refusal to sit on the bench for the 2-1 victory over Fulham two weeks ago.

Hill said: "It's different cultures and the ways the foreigners have been brought up is different. Do they get taught that losing is hard to accept? I don't know.

"It's a different mentality. It hurts and it should hurt everyone no matter what culture or country you're from.

"As much as I can I've spoken to those players. I'm 34, I've played most of my career in the lower leagues and we are talking about Champions League winners, people who have won Premier Leagues, FA Cups.

"You hope there is a desire within them. To win those kind of medals there must have been. We need that as a team, we need it as a unit.

"The message is simple: you have to be together and be up for the fight. If you don't fancy it then January is around the corner. If you don't fancy it then off you pop, simple as that.

"Our first-half report has been pretty horrendous. Look at the papers - it's everywhere. You can't be a proud man to look at a paper or look at Sky Sports News and see you're bottom of the league. If there's any time for action, it's now."

Attitude



Boswingwa was fined two weeks' wages for his actions and has yet to figure in Redknapp's plans since with the QPR boss incensed by his attitude.

"The gaffer was right, there is no beating around the bush. If you don't want to go on the bench do you want to be here? Do you want to fight? Do you want to be in a scrap with your team-mates? That hurt us as a group, definitely," Hill said.

"We have all been on the bench, dropped and been told we can go. We all earn good money, if you can't sit on the bench then there has to be something wrong.

"It can be hard to see him at work. You want people who are going to be next to you, fighting for the cause. If you can't sit on the bench and support the lads then why are you here? What are you doing here?"

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Wenger deployed Walcott as Arsenal's lone hitman for the third game running and the move paid off handsomely as the 23-year-old bagged three well-taken goals and set up two more to lift the Gunners back up to fourth position in the Premier League with a 7-3 win over Newcastle.

On Friday Wenger talked up Walcott's ability to convert himself from a winger to a top striker - just as Henry did - and the former Southampton man has now racked up four goals in his last three games in the role.

Walcott's desire to play centrally is thought to be key to his chances of signing an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season, and Wenger remains hopeful that the England international will not leave.

The Arsenal manager said: "My desire is to extend his contract.

"I think he belongs here. Hopefully we can do it.

"I think he loves the club and the club loves him and the reciprocity in love is the most difficult to find."

Henry, who is training with Arsenal ahead of a potential second loan spell, rose to his feet to applaud Walcott after he broke from the half way line and slotted past Tim Krul to put Arsenal ahead.

A glut of goals then followed. Newcastle equalised through Demba Ba, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then scored to make it 2-1 to Arsenal before Ba grabbed his second to make it 2-2.

Lukasz Podolski and Sylvain Marveaux then cancelled each other out with their strikes before Walcott set Olivier Giroud up for both his strikes and he added two of his own - the last one a wonderful chip over Krul after the forward was knocked over by Cheick Tiote in the box.

"Today just typifies what I think he can do through the middle," Wenger said.

"The first goal was a Thierry Henry-type goal and he showed great determination with the third.

"He has become a good finisher. He has learned a lot because he is an intelligent player and because he is intelligent he will continue to improve."

Walcott has scored four goals and won one decisive penalty in the three games he has started up front and he now has 14 for the season.

"I enjoy playing in whatever position but it was just telling the manager to give me the opportunities to play up front," the former Southampton man told ESPN.

"I'm not saying I'm always going to play up front but it's just showing what I can do but hopefully I've opened a few eyes and it's just a different option.

"Hopefully, I can start to take it a bit more often now."

Australia international Cahill spent eight years in the Premier League with Everton before joining the Red Bulls in July.

The Major League Soccer season came to an end last month and a number of players are expected to sign temporary deals in Europe when the January transfer window opens.

Cahill has attracted the interest of Sunderland and it is thought talks are ongoing between the clubs over an agreement to take the 33-year-old to the Stadium of Light.

Martin O'Neill is looking to strengthen his squad next month following a difficult start to the season, with the Black Cats currently 13th in the Premier League and just five points clear of the relegation zone.

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